The longevity of the industry’s trade association has meant high-quality public relations for retailers
This year marks a milestone in the history of the bedding industry—the International Sleep Products Association celebrates its centennial. Comprised of manufacturers and suppliers, ISPA has served the industry as advocate, communicator and marketer. Why should this matter to bedding retailers today? Because for 100 years now, ISPA has helped elevate the image of the industry and stress the relationship in your customers’ minds between a good night’s sleep and their quality of life, not to mention what a quality mattress means to restorative sleep.
Take, for example, ISPA’s public-relations efforts, which began almost from its inception. In the early 1920s—stunned by the industry’s lack of good publicity—ISPA, originally called the National Association of Mattress Manufacturers, formed a public-relations committee to make sure Americans were reading about beds. It ran a contest for the best campaign slogan and in 1926 launched “Invest in Rest.” The message proved to be remarkably durable, remaining in use through the 1970s.
That tradition continues today. Look no farther than this month’s cover story on the Better Sleep Council. (See story on page 18.) In 1979 ISPA furthered its commitment to public relations by launching the BSC—its consumer-education arm. The BSC’s message has propelled the industry forward by consistently emphasizing that your customers should “begin every day with a good night’s sleep.”
To partner with retailers to advance this message even more strongly, the BSC launched Sleep Savvy in 2002. Free to mattress retailers in the United States and Canada and supported by your bedding vendors and suppliers, this magazine has a unique mission. As its first editor, Nancy Butler, explained in the premier issue: “Our editorial focus isn’t on company news, products or competition among brands. It’s on understanding consumers, on bedding’s supporting role in healthy living and on practical ideas that make it easier to sell more bedding and better-quality bedding, regardless of brand.”
Today, the BSC is more dedicated and committed than ever to promoting the relationship between a good night’s sleep and a healthy, productive life. You can see evidence of this commitment not only on the pages of this issue, but through myriad public-relations campaigns and exciting promotions, including “May is Better Sleep Month”—which, by the way, began in 1929 as Better Bedding Week.
To honor ISPA’s 100th year, we invite you to attend its centennial celebration at this year’s Industry Conference March 4-5 in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to enjoying the festivities, this is an ideal time to get to know members of the manufacturing community and share your thoughts and insights on the industry—which can only help build a foundation for the next 100 years. We hope to see you there.